Deception, False Refund Policies

TAGS: deceptive/misleading conduct Bureau of Consumer Protection Consumer Protection Advertising and Marketing Online Advertising and Marketing
A group of online marketers will pay more than $2.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they deceived consumers with “free” and “risk-free” trials for cooking and golfing products.

According to an FTC complaint filed in March 2017, the defendants offered “free” products, without clearly disclosing that by accepting the “free” product consumers were agreeing to be charged each month for a subscription if they did not cancel. They also allegedly misrepresented their return, refund and cancellation policies.

Under settlement orders announced today, the defendants are prohibited from misrepresenting the cost of any good or service, that consumers will not be charged, that consumers can get something for a processing or shipping fee with no further obligation, and that a product or service is free.

The orders also require the defendants to clearly disclose important details about any online negative option where consumers’ enter billing information, to get consumers’ informed consent before charging them, and to offer a simple way for consumers to cancel recurring charges. The orders also bar them from billing consumers who were first charged before March 1, 2016, and from selling or otherwise benefitting from consumers’ personal information and failing to dispose of it properly.

Free Consultation on your Deception Claim, Call (973) 598-1980

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